“This product should be just what every middle-aged woman wants. Now we just have to find some middle-aged women and ask them whether they want it…” – Panel research
After spending months brainstorming and developing a new product or idea. You and your team might understandably find it difficult to think objectively about your invention. Although you might feel certain that you have a winning idea, launching it without conducting any research is a certain recipe for disaster.
Market research is essential in order to find out what everyday people think of your new product or idea. However, the obvious types of market research, such as mass surveys, may not give you the information you need. Most products are aimed at a certain demographic, whether this is based on age, gender, background or interest. You need to know what people in this specific group think of your idea or product, as their opinion is the one that matters. How can you be certain of asking only the people you are interested in?
Judgement from a jury of peers – Panel research
Panel research is the answer. This means asking a group of people who fall within your chosen categories. Who have have volunteered or who are paid to answer your questions honestly. It is particularly important to pose your questions to a group of people. As opinions may differ widely even among members of the same demographic. A research panel is designed to be representative of the population and is therefore far more effective than simply asking your teenage daughter or your Spanish friend.
Other advantages to panel research are that the panellists are more likely to give honest answers. Anyone who has ever lied in a survey in order to avoid answering more questions will realise the importance of this! Furthermore, panellists have experience in articulating their opinions. Therefore, they may offer extra information which could give rise to critical modifications. Perhaps they will suggest a different way how you could use your product, or even suggest a more appropriate target audience. Chance comments such as these can change the way you think about your product.
Panel research can be conducted at any point during the product’s life-cycle and is easy to undertake with modern tool like the Netigate Survey Platform.